Former government CIO Ian Watmore is to become the chief operating officer of the new efficiency and reform group in the Cabinet Office, which aims to cut £6bn lost to Whitehall waste this year.
He will work with cabinet office minister Francis Maude and treasury secretary Danny Alexander on a co-ordinated approach to cut waste and improve accountability across government.
He will aim to exploit economies of scale and cut duplication, looking for efficiencies in procurement, project management, property, HR and IT, a cabinet office statement said.
The group will help Whitehall departments to meet their commitments to save £6.2bn in this financial year, it said.
Civil service boss Gus O'Donnell welcomed Watmore back. "He will bring with him invaluable expertise from the business world, as well as significant experience of senior roles in government, both of which will be essential in driving forward tough efficiency measures across Whitehall."
Watmore quit after less than 10 months as the chief executive of the Football Association in March, just before England's disastrous World Cup mission. He said he was frustrated and disillusioned by the "impotence" of his position.